The year is 2021.
We are just beginning to come out of a worldwide pandemic.
Jobs have been lost, lives have been ruined, and sports cards are king.
Now that I have your attention…. Let’s make some money.
As of 3/1/21, PSA has drastically increased their pricing.
Pricing for bulk (now referred to as value) has increased by 200%+
Pricing for 20 day (now referred to as regular) has increased by 400%
Pricing for Express (now referred to as Super Express) has increased by 300%
PSA no longer guarantees turnaround times, rather lets you pick your own poison instead.
What do we mean by that?
PSA now offers CTD’s (Complete Through Dates).
As per PSA…
“Services defined by turnaround times are a thing of the past. Look, there’s no way around it. We are busy. And we want you to know just how busy we are before you make your submission decisions. This is partly to manage your expectations, but also to give you the transparency you need to make the most of the opportunities in today’s marketplace. Complete Through Dates ("CTD") are everything turnaround times are not. They are data driven, transparent, dynamic, and easy to understand.
A service level’s Complete Through Date is the day before the date of the oldest open order in the PSA system for that service level. In other words, it represents the date by which PSA has completed orders through. The CTD is based on order entry date, which means the day the order was formally entered into the PSA system for authentication and grading.
You can use CTDs to check the progress on your order by comparing the "Entered" date on your My Orders page to the service level’s Complete Through Date to get an idea as to the remaining time before your order will be completed. Posted CTDs update daily and you can follow along as the CTD advances closer to your order’s Entered date.”
At first, I was shell shocked like almost everyone else. My initial thoughts were, “How can anyone afford to submit their cards at these prices? What cards are really “worth” getting graded now?”
After a few moments, I changed my mindset from victim to entrepreneur.
The increase in prices creates so many scenarios in which we as collectors can win.
First, I would start off by looking at current PSA 10 slabs in the $100 range. I think these will increase in the near future naturally due to the price of grading increasing exponentially.
The PSA holder itself now adds another $10-15 to that card.
Take into account the fact that those population reports should remain rather stagnant moving forward and you have yourself a nice buy low opportunity.
**Some slabs that come to mind are 2018 Topps Update Ohtani PSA 10 ($60 range) and 2019 Topps Update Chrome Vladimir Guerrero Jr. PSA 10 ($70 range))**
NEXT, I would like to remind you to be aggressive while the masses are scared or angry.
Since the average collectors are going to be reluctant to submit their cards due to price increases, you can take this time to create a market for a certain card with less “current” profit margins, but potential for big returns in the future.
NO ONE is sending in $2 inserts anymore right?
Why not send in 3 Zion second year inserts that will become a POP 3 when they get back?
Sure it will cost you more now, but with less competition, you can name your price in the future (to some extent).
Lastly I want to point out that the express and super express options are now your new best friends. (for new releases).
By PSA raising prices from $55 to $150, this is going to knock out most people who were submitting $1-$200 cards to be first to the market. These people were taking a $100 card, spending $55 to grade, and profiting $450-500 in most cases (if not more).
Lowering profit by nearly 25% is a real buzz kill for most people. BUT (and hear me out), what if the amount of people submitting at these new levels drops more than anticipated, and you are one of the very few savvy people who made the decision to submit these types of card? What if it turns out the demand now far outweighs the supply for this card, causing this said card to rise even more due to the lack of supply.
Let’s use a 2020 Select Base Justin Herbert for example.
Once this product releases, the card will be worth anywhere from $100-200 raw. Many people are going to be scared to spend $150 to grade a card of this value, as the upside on this play is now limited. But what if you send in 20 of these and spend $3000? What if you used the price increase to your advantage and zigged when everyone was zagging? What if it was normally a $500 PSA 10 but lack of supply put it to where a PSA 10 Prizm Rookie was in this same scenario when grading prices were 300% less? Did I lose you?
The moral of the story is don’t join the masses in their pity party. Think outside the box, and make these PSA changes work for you.
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